Gavin and his small group from Atlanta left on Thursday to head down to Nicaragua and spend a long weekend with the kids. They just sent me a few pictures and an e-mail reflecting on their time there…
After a full schedule the last two days, tonight we finally got a chance to reflect on our trip and converse about the feelings and emotions that have impacted us. There was an agreement among the group that we couldn’t come close to pointing to a single event or circumstance that impacted us the most, so we have a collection of thoughts to share with the blog, and hopefully relay some of our experiences, although words cannot come close to illustrate how we truly feel.
For those that know nothing about La Chureca, the city dump, it’s one of the most horrific places on this Earth, full of darkness and destruction. It’s unfathomable that there are communities within this reched place. The tour of La Chureca has left a lasting impression on every single one of us. It’s heartbreaking to witness this harsh reality that’s so overwhelming, it’s almost numbing.
It’s so comforting to know that there is a bright light. After leaving the dump, we visited the incredible children rescued from the dump living in the orphanages funded by LUO. The contrast between the kids in La Chureca and the kids in the orphanages is like night and day. It’s only by God’s love and grace that these kids have been given a chance; a chance to change the deadly trajectory they were on before LUO and Open Heart’s ministry found them. They are full of so much love and joy, it’s so inspiring for each one of us. We paralleled their life in the dump as our own lives before knowing Christ, dirty and full of darkness. Then we are cleansed, as these kids are cleansed, by the grace of God. It’s been an incredible experience to engage and get to know the kids and each of their unique stories.
In closing, our hope is that God’s work continues to expand in Nicaragua, and that our efforts impact other children through the awareness that we bring back with us. Ostensibly our work here has been short, but we realize that we can make a difference. Thank you for your support and the never ceasing prayers.
Gavin, Jamie, Randall, Dustin, Ryan and Paul